Thursday, March 14, 2013

WELSH WARRIORS (Straight/Seese Family)

Cordican, (Cardigan) Wales
Welsh defiance to English rule appears to be 'in the blood' of our Straight family generations as far back as the 13th century.  But by the late 1600's we find our ancestor, Jacob Straight taking sides with England against the French in America, with descendants later defending the new America from French, Indian, and English control.
Unlike the Morgans, who supposedly came from Glamorgan, the Straights originated on the midwest coast of Wales.  Records show their origin as Cordican (which I found to be the phonetic spelling of Cardigan.) Although I haven't yet found much 'official' documentation to help support that claim, it does appear that at least one Straight, our immigrant ancestor, found his way to England, married, and raised two sons there.   He was said to be the only one of James Straight's sons who did not live and die in their beloved Wales.
Below is a rough timeline that is as factual as the few, conflicting records allow:

13th Century. The first mention of this family line begins with David Straight who was said to be descended from the great Llewllyn, the Welsh chieftain who refused to pay tribute to King Edward I in 1283 [on link, scroll down to "Wales Rebels -The Declaration of Defiance, 1282"].   Assuming this has merit, we might also believe that David's son (?) Robert Straight "set defiance to the English king's son being named the Prince of Wales in 1301, and led a party of three hundred of the free- minded Welsh people into the mountains of Wales, where they and their descendants lived in defiance of English rule for two centuries."  [uncomfirmed source from]
1485 Battle of Bosworth Field
15th Century.  In 1491 James Straight, a descendant of David, fought in the Battle of Bosworth.
 Between James and the birth of William Straight in 1612 the family lineage is difficult to document, and no special mention of this Cardigan family has been found in the English records of that time. 

The following lineage we do know:
10th GGF William Straight (1612 - 1691) m. Margaret Lesh
  • William Straight, said to bdescended from the Welsh branch of the Six Nations of Celts, became a supporter of King Charles I in 1645. From 1649 to 1660 William Straight with his wife, four sons and two daughters continued to live as Welsh without interference by the English. In 1664 he was made a magistrate in his native district, and lived until 1691. His wife Margaret Lesh died in 1686. Their sons, Robert, Jacob, William, and Joseph, with two daughters were born in Cardigan (Cordican) and all the family with the exception of son William Straight lived and died in Wales.
William Straight (1642 - 1717)  m. Abbie Bruce (William born in Cardigan, Wales; he and his wife died in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.)

Capt. Jacob Straight 1689 Immigrant (1663 - ) m. Elizabeth Moorefield (Jacob was born in Cardiganshire, Wales; died in England)
The surrender of Quebec, King William's War
  •  Jacob Straight, eldest son of William and Abbie Straight, was born in 1663, and his brother, William Jr. was born in 1665. They both had military school education and were "Guards of Honor" in 1685. In 1689 these sons of William Straight were sent to the American Colonies as captains in the King's service, active in King William's War, 1689-1697 (the first of four French & Indian wars). They retired from the King's service in 1695 and lived in Philadelphia for three more years.
  • Jacob Straight married Elizabeth Moorefield, daughter of Dr. Samuel Moorefield of Winchester on Christmas Day, 1687.
King William’s War:   (1689 – 1697) King William’s War was fought for North American territory contested between France and Britain, under its new king William III. The war, which was the North American extension of the international War of the Grand Alliance, involved French Canadiens and New England colonists and their allies. The British captured Port Royal, Acadia (later Nova Scotia), but failed to take Quebec. The French, under the count de Frontenac (pictured above in his reaction to the British terms of surrender, "I have no reply to make to your general other than from the mouth of my cannons and muskets."), won skirmishes at Schenectady, New York, and in New England but failed to take Boston. The war ended with the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697).

era flintlock musket with King's cipher 

Scene from King George's War
John Milton Straight  (1688 - 1758)  m. Ann Carhart in America in 1712 
(John was born in Gloucestershire, England; died in Maryland)

·    John Milton Straight  was a captain in the New York Militia Company in the third of four French & Indian wars, King George'sWar, 1744-1748. American Genealogical Society, 1939.

Jacob Straight (1715 - 1758)  m. Rebecca Brown
son of John Milton Straight 1689 
Fort Frederick
Jacob Straight was born in Philadephia in 1715. He and brother William settled in Frederick Co, MD. He learned the cooper trade (barrel making) in Philadelphia, and worked for William Conwell in 1738.  
He served as a guard at Fort FrederickMaryland in 1757.  Jacob Straight died in the service of General Forbes’ Army near Will's Creek, Maryland in October, 1758.
[Note: Oct. 12-13, 1758 a French force attacked Gen. Forbes's army at Ft. Ligonier and was repulsed. The British continued to advance toward Fort Duquesne.]
Jacob Straight, Jr. (1741 - 1786) m. Elizabeth Ann Dragoo
Jacob Straight Jr. was born in Frederick Co. Maryland in 1744. He learned
surveying and in 1767 did the first surveying on Indian Creek, in
Monongalia Co., VA. He surveyed for David Morgan in 1769 and again in 1772.

Lord Dunsmore
Jacob Straight, Jr. was a Wood Ranger in 1774-1775. He served in Lord Dunmore's War in 1774 and as a frontier guard along the Monongahela River above and below Morgantown. He was in service in 1777-1778 with Captain Will Minor, and was one of the Rangers that drove the British soldiers from the Dunkard Valley in 1779.
The story of Jacob's death can be found on this blog at "Raid at Chunk's Run".   [His widow, Elizabeth Dragoo Straight survived the attack at Chunk's Run and soon married William Kennedy, Jr.]

Jacob Kennedy Straight (1787 - 1853) m. Permelia Shuman

·         Some researchers show Jacob being born more than 1 year following his father’s death and prior to his mother’s marriage to William Kennedy; some suggest he may have been born earlier than 1787.  Either way, it seems most likely that Jacob was conceived prior to Jacob, Sr.’s death and born earlier than October of 1787.  The middle name Kennedy, however, shows an interesting, yet unknown, connection to the family of the man his mother would marry the year following Jacob Straight’s tragic death.   Elizabeth  Dragoo Straight  had four children with the surname of Straight before she married about 1788-89 to William Kennedy, Jr., an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland who had served as a private in the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth and her four Straight children moved to the Kennedy farm on McFarland’s Run south of Morgantown in Monongalia County. Elizabeth had six more children with William Kennedy, all of whom were given the Kennedy surname. 
·         Jacob K. married Permelia Shuman in 1810.  They settled on Big Indian Creek near the head of Chunks Run where both the Shuman and Kennedy families lived. (The present day county line between Marion and Monongalia Counties divided Jacob K.'s farm on the Monongalia side from the Kennedys.)  Their first child, daughter Permelia continues our family line.
·         “Jacob K. supplemented his farm income as a cobbler and boot maker. The story is told that two of his sons, Levi J. and William Milton, walked from Marion County, WV to Chillicothe, OH, worked for two years in timber along the Ohio River, and walked back home in the same boots that they had started out in.” (from Roane Co. WVA GenWeb)
·         Jacob K. died of a stroke at his home on 20 July 1853 and was buried with a fieldstone marker on a ridge near his home in the Straight/Floyd Cemetery on Chunks Run, Monongalia Co. where his widow was later interred by his side.

The Straight line continued with three generations of daughters leading to the Glover line:
Permelia Straight (1810 - 1879) m. James Madison Mayfield
daughter of Jacob Kennedy Straight)
Temperance Mayfield (1835 - 1910) m. Jonas Seese
daughter of Permelia Straight
Joan (or Joanna) Seese (1873 - 1963) m. Thomas Jackson Glover
daughter of Temperance Mayfield
Ira Russell Glover (1895 - 1964)
son of Joan (or Joanna) Seese and my grandfather

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